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Family feud deepens

James Murdoch resigns from News Corp board

James Murdoch (right) with Lachlan at their father Rupert’s wedding to Jerry Hall

James Murdoch, one of media mogul Rupert’s two sons, has resigned from the board of News Corporation citing “disagreements over editorial content” and “strategic decisions” made by the company.

No details have been given as to the precise nature of the disagreements which were revealed in a filing to US regulators.

But he has been critical of News Corp publications over their approach to issues such as climate change coverage. His wife Kathryn is a climate activist and the pair strongly criticised the family’s news outlets for downplaying the impact of the climate crisis, as bushfires burned in Australia.

In 2015, his father used his Twitter account to describe himself as a “climate change sceptic not a denier”.

However, divisions have been simmering for some time. James has also taken opposite sides on the US political debate, distancing himself from Donald Trump, favoured by his father, and reportedly contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign of the president’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

He was chief executive of the family’s 21st Century Fox entertainment business until it merged with Disney. He is making media investments through his own Lupa Systems company.

James Murdoch’s departure from News Corp hands more power to his brother Lachlan who now appears certain to inherit control of his father’s empire.

The pair issued a statement wishing James well.

“We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company,” the statement said. “We wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

Rupert Murdoch has been downsizing the business in recent years, offloading his stake in Sky News after failing to buy the whole company, and shedding assets in Asia.

In the UK News Corp still also owns The Sun, The Times, and The Sunday Times. Mr Murdoch snr also held on to his Australian newspapers, including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and The Herald Sun.

See also

Steve Sampson: Forget the hatchet job, Murdoch is a great deal maker and visionary

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